Most University of Kentucky housing and dining rates will go up about 3 percent next fall, mostly because of contractual obligations between the university and its private housing and dining partners.
The UK Board of Trustees approved the rate increases Tuesday. Other costs, including tuition, won’t be decided until after the 2018 legislative session, when the state’s budget for the next two years will be decided.
Annual housing and dining cost increases have been built into UK’s budget ever since it hired two private companies to build and operate those services on campus. Education Realty Trust has built about $500 million in new dorms since 2012, and their contract included yearly rate increases. That’s also true for Aramark, which took over UK’s dining operations in 2014
The only exception this year is the four dorms built in 2005 — Roselle, Baldwin, Smith and Ingels — which won’t see any increase. The 3 percent increase includes graduate and Greek housing. For example, a two-bedroom suite in one of the newer dorms will go from $4,287 a semester to $4,416.
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All students who live in dorms are required to have a dining plan. The minimum plan, which includes 10 meals a week, will go up 4.2 percent to $1,525 a semester. The maximum all-you-can-eat plan will drop 6.7 percent to $2,075 a semester.
The only comments came from student trustee Ben Childress, who questioned the need for any increases.
Eric Monday, executive vice president of finance and administration, said UK’s average housing and dining costs are in the midrange of SEC schools. Education Realty Trust’s contract allows it to raise housing rates by 4 percent each year, so he said officials were pleased that it will be only 3 percent next fall.
UK usually adopts its annual fiscal budget in June.